“Noix Raisin hat” / by Kaoru Mitsui

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About 20 second run from the Inokashira park station exit and 5 min walk from my house, is where you will find the coffee shop “Side Walk Stand inokashira”. This shop popped out of nowhere last July, and surprisingly, naturally blended into my everyday life. The fact that this stylish shop suddenly appeared on a grandma-grandpa-friendly kind of sidewalk made me feel uncomfortable in the beginning, although it took me no time to realize the good coffee and cozy atmosphere and I soon became a regular.

They always had about 5,6 kinds of bread and pastry displayed which were freshly baked on their tiny baking factory on the second floor. I was aware of them, but when it comes to bread, I am extremely picky and I wasn’t so attracted to “the bread that a coffee shop sells” for a while. Although one day I gave it a second thought and decided that this store must be pretty confident about their bread since they went out of their way to built a bread factory in this tiny shop. I bought a baguette, brought it back home, and after a bite I immediately fell in love with it and finished the whole thing in seconds.

The crunchy crust, the chewy inside, and the perfect amount of salt told me that this baguette is “something”. Ever since this discovery, now their bread, which chef “Kento Tateishi”’ bakes, has become my go to, not only for my daily meal but also for gifts or any events.

For most of his bread Kento incorporates as much liquid to the dough as possible and challenges to the limit, which makes them very unique. For example, usually “Noix Raisin” (whole wheat bread with walnuts and raisins) tends to be a bit hard and dry, but his Noix Raisin is extremely moist and chewy and has a gentle, pungent smell to it.

When all of his breads are displayed in the showcase, it gives you the mixed feel between a chic bakery and one of your favorite hometown bakery.

Kento has a strong passion to create bread with good quality that everyone from little children to old people can enjoy, and it is always a huge excitement for me to explore the journey of his through his creation.

 

 

■「ノア・レザン帽」

井の頭公園駅を降りてすぐ、改札を出て小走りで20秒くらいのところにそのお店はある。Side Walk Stand 井の頭公園店は昨年の6月突如として現れ、ゆるやかに地元民であるわたしの日常に合流した。比較的おじいちゃんおばあちゃんにやさしい感じの素朴な通りに、今時な雰囲気のコーヒーやさんがなんの前触れもなく登場したことに始めは戸惑いを感じたものの、気づけば美味しいコーヒーと居心地の良さですっかり常連客になっていた。

  店内のショーケースには2階にある工房で作っているパンが、いつも5、6種類焼きたてで並んでいた。気にはなっていたものの「でもコーヒーやさんのパンだしなあ」としばらく買わずにいた。ある時「いや、コーヒーやさんなのに2階にわざわざパン工房を作るなんてよっぽど自信があるパンを作っているに違いない!」と考え直して、思い立ったら吉日、バゲットを買ってみた。家に帰って一口食すると、あまりの美味しさで止まらず、あっという間に1本丸々食べ切ってしまった。皮の堅さと中の生地のもちもち感、塩加減も良く、ものすごく魅力をもったパンだったのだ。以来、すっかりパン職人の立石建人さんが作るパンたちの虜になってしまい、事あるごとに差し入れやイベントでこちらのパンを使わせていただいている。建人さんの作るパン生地には水分量が生地をまとめることのできるぎりぎりまで加えられており、例えば固くパサつきがちなノアレザンなんかもずしっともちもちして風味もやさしく、他にはない美味しさ。

建人さんの食パンやあんぱんやミルクフランス、バゲットやシナモンロールやメロンパンがずらっとショーケースに並ぶと、おしゃれなベーカリーと商店街の昔懐かしいパンやさんのちょうど中間のような雰囲気になる。子供からおじいちゃんおばあちゃんまで、近所の人みんなが楽しめるようなパンを確実なクオリーティで作っていきたい、というまっすぐな気持ちで進化し続けている建とさんのパン。これから先もずっと食べるのが楽しみでいる。